John Clare: The Forest Maid

A Poet who probably did not achieve the same fame as Shelley and Byron but nevertheless a great Romantic Poet who I think lived and Died in Northampton Christian you will have to refresh my memory Excellent Post well done Laurence


William-Adolphe Bouguereau - enfant tressant une couronne (1874) - from Wikimedia CommonsWilliam-Adolphe Bouguereau – Enfant tressant une couronne (1874) – from Wikimedia Commons

This sweet poem by John Clare tells the love he shared with a young girl, and he gives her a lovely name: Mary Littlechild. Again, it comes from his most beautiful collection, Asylum Poems, composed while he was interned in a lunatic asylum.

The Forest Maid

O once I loved a pretty girl, and dearly love her still;
I courted her in happiness for two short years or more.
And when I think of Mary it turns my bosom chill,
For my little of life’s happiness is faded and is o’er.
O fair was Mary Littlechild, and happy as the bee,
And sweet was bonny Mary as the song of forest bird;
And the smile upon her red lips was very dear to me,
And her tale of love the sweetest that my ear has ever heard.

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